Nicola's Ristorante

4.7
2652 reviews
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$31 to $50
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Italian
Located just north of Downtown in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s hip and historic neighborhood, Nicola’s Ristorante Italiano has long been a fine dining staple of the city during its 20+ years of operation. Owners Nicola and Maureen Pietoso pride their restaurant not only for its highly acclaimed contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list and variety of unique dining spaces, but most especially for their restaurant’s long-standing reputation for being warmly hospitable and accommodating.
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What 2652 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.7
service
4.7
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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r
Cincinnati
46 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent meal and super service by an experienced waiter. Main courses expensive but expected--but surprised at the high cost of salads. Still an outstanding dining experience.

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BJ
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best octopus ever. Romantic setting.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent as always

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SK
Cincinnati
4 reviews
Dined 7 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nicola’s is my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati. My daughter and I arrived a bit early and enjoyed the Il mulo cocktails at the bar. For dinner, we shared an order of gnocchi for a starter, salad, and the bolognese, with the bread basket, of course. Our server, Megan, was very knowledgeable and attentive. If we aren’t ordering a bottle of wine, we usually order the Barolo by the glass. Excellent!

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MM
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Amazing as always. This is my favorite restaurant in Cincinnati.

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JM
Indiana
7 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

The food was exceptional. The one thing that really bothered me was a very strong synthetic air freshener scent by our table near the front entrance. Otherwise it was one of the better meals I’ve had in a long while.

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s
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great all the way around!

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C
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is our favorite restaurant in Cincinnati. The veal ossobuco is outstanding. The ambiance and service are excellent.

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NJ
Cincinnati
57 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wanted to celebrate some life events and the wife chose Nicola's. She really enjoyed her cocktail, and I encourage the bartending team to continue their creative ways. Dinner was excellent with both of us enjoying each aspect. But particular attention to the grouper entree which my wife described as 'amazing'. Neal did a great job providing some great insight to help guide our choices. Fantastic work by all.

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DT
Tallahassee
13 reviews
Dined on March 14, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food in a very cool atmosphere. Loved it!

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OT
Columbus
1 review
Dined on March 13, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

All amazing, except dessert. Apple crisp was soggy and raw. Also Branzino a bit dry. Not as great as other times.

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CD
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The staff was friendly, professional and knowledgeable regarding the menu. Food was delicious. Did not disappoint.

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KW
Cincinnati
6 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We've been here a couple times recently and the food has been great! We recently went for the bolognese special on a Monday night. It's a great deal - for $15 you get a nice sized house salad (that has mission figs & hazelnuts on it - yum!) and a large portion of the pasta. I ate a lot of pasta and still had enough left to bring home for lunch the next day. Don't skip their bread basket - it's $1.99 per person, but worth it! They serve a variety of breads that are made on site daily. The place can get a little noisy if you're seated in the middle of the room on a busy night. Booths along the walls are quieter.

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w
Seattle
1 review
Dined on March 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Fun date night place, and Monday’s Bolo special cannot be beat!

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F
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent overall first experience. Our server was attentive without being intrusive. She was also helpful with recommendations and provided realistic expectations for both timing (we were trying to make a show at the Aranoff) and portion sizes. Bring your appetite, because if you choose to eat all four courses, you will be stuffed (even with the smaller portions). We enjoyed the shaved asparagus salad, followed by gnocchi and mushroom risotto. The gnocchi is especially delicious. We chose to split the chicken saltimbocca, which was also very well prepared and delicious. The lowpoint of the meal was coffee/dessert, but hardly worth mentioning after everything else was so good.

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SM
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is a beautiful hidden gem. The food was exquisite and the service was perfect. The lofted, open environment made for an overall great experience. Our family had a great time here. I would highly recommend for a nice dinner.

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GR
Cincinnati
17 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always, the food and service was outstanding.
Michelle our server did a fantastic job keeping us supplied with great
food and wine.
Thanks again for a great night.

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JC
Cincinnati
10 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Impeccable service and great food! Always a favorite! The Osso buco is amazing.

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OT
Cincinnati
3 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Absolute perfection. From the bread basket to the goat cheese salad, gnocchi to bolognese and pork tenderloin. It was incredible!

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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

Entrees came out 40 min after salad so had to rush meal to go to play. Disappointing because we love it here.

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C
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

Food was very good, but service was too slow. We arrived at 5 pm and were rushing to finish our main course to get to a play by 8. The beginning of the meal was okay, but towards the middle/end when they started getting crowded service became much too slow.

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JL
Cincinnati
9 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Amazing service, charming ambience, food was out of this world delicious!!

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SN
Cincinnati
40 reviews
Dined on March 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Eight Course Tasing was amazing!!!

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j
Cincinnati
12 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Loved the relaxed fell of the place, and the fact that they are able to get a crowd on a Monday Night. Tagliatelle Bolognese is delicious. 23 yrs in business. that tell you...

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OT
Cincinnati
168 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Another wow meal at Nicolas. Enjoyed the fabulous Bolognese, Caesar salad, bread basket a great red wine. Service was impeccable.

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NJ
Cincinnati
58 reviews
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My wife really enjoyed the rye cocktail. The beef carpacio remains amazing. I hope that sticks on the menu for some time. And the bolognese the last several visits has been even better against what is already a high historical standard. Whatever is happening in the kitchen keep it going!! Of course Brad was his usual awesome self. Just a great evening

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great execution by all staff on a busy Monday night. Food was excellent by all accounts.

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OT
Louisville
4 reviews
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 4

Our entire family was disappointed in the food. The service is amazing and the bread was good, but we were not impressed with our main meals.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great meal especially the bolognese but the portions aside from pasta dishes are very small. We had the beet salad and the branding in addition to pasta and were disappointed at the sizes even though the taste was good.

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RA
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nicola's was, once again, fabulous. Our favorite spot. Creative, delicious fare, from appetizer to dessert. Nicola's embraces you with impeccable service, cozy but elegant atmosphere and decor with perfect lighting that transports you to Italy.
Your favorite wine and the octopus appetizer is a perfect place to begin a wondefull evening.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a lovely time at Nicolas. Great food and wine recommendations by our server, and we thoroughly enjoyed every dish our group tried! I highly recommend the Prix Fixe menu (45$ for 3 dishes).

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SC
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food, service, everything was outstanding! The Gnocchi was to die for!

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MM
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Our waitress was better than good, and there were several other employees making sure we were taken care of. The experience was well worth it and the food was fabulous.

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RM
1 review
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great staff made our experience wonderful. The bread is a must.

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SF
1 review
Dined on February 27, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Nicola’s has it all! This gorgeous, historic restaurant is a gem. Great Italian food and wonderful service. If you haven’t been, go! It will not disappoint.

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I
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on February 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding! This is a true gem in Cinncinnati. The service and food were quite memorable.

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c
Cincinnati
284 reviews
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We always enjoy Nicola's and tonight was no exception. The place was packed on a Monday evening and we had a delightful dinner.

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SL
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Outstanding food and service!
The Osso Bucco was delicious as well as the Chicken Saltimbocca. We shared some Bolognese and it was perfection as always.

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OT
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and atmosphere!

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DS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was amazing and service was spot-on.
I haven't had this good of an Italian meal (outside of my kitchen, lol) in a long time. And I'm from NJ!
If you visit Cincinnati please go and enjoy yourself as much as we did. 👍

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